Wendy Sinclair is a newlywed. She relocated from Los Angeles to Houston Texas to be with her boyfriend-turned-husband, Roger Sinclair. She thought life in Texas would be as blissful as life in LA, but she was wrong. She winds up taking an extended weekend trip to Las Vegas with a gal-pal from LA and never returns to Texas in A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury.
Wendy is 45 years old and had worked for 25 years at a high-end fashion boutique in LA. Her bosses promised her a management position at their store in Houston so she gladly packed her bags, sold her condo and relocated to Texas to be with her man. However, after arriving in Texas, getting married, and dealing with creepy reptiles entering the house (only in the master bedroom), the chain of boutiques is sold and she's out of a job. She is used to working and isn't quite cut out to be the "dutiful little woman" that Roger and his bosses' wives expect. When she's offered the opportunity to spend an extended weekend in Vegas with her LA gal-pal Paula she jumps at the offer.
Unfortunately after five days in Vegas (primarily spent shopping, getting spa treatments and eating) she doesn't want to return to Texas. She eventually winds up renting an apartment in the same complex as Paula's younger sister and spends her day shopping, casino hopping, and partying with new friends from the complex. One such friend is an airplane pilot, Gary, who also happens to be a hunk. He also happened to have had a one-night stand with her gal-pal Paula. Although Wendy and Gary are just friends, Paula is quite jealous of the time they spend together. Fast-forward a few months and Wendy is impersonating Ann Margret at a local casino and designing uniforms for cocktail waitresses. To say that her husband doesn't understand what she's doing is a minor understatement. Fast-forward a few more months and it has now been almost two years since she left Texas for Vegas and she still is saying that she needs "time" to think things out. When she eventually moves to Paris, France to work as an assistant at Dior, she begins to realize that her marriage (a grand idea but not a practical one) is probably over, especially since it has been over two years since she and Roger were together. And then there's Wendy's other male friend, Kent. Kent is in the entertainment industry and she considers him a friend, but she ultimately spends more time talking to and being with Kent than she does with her husband.
Call me old-fashioned (ok you're old-fashioned), but I had difficulties with the lack of maturity of both 45-year-old Wendy and 38-year-old Paula. Wendy appears to be unable (or unwilling) to understand why her husband has difficulty accepting she needs some "time and space" to decide what she should do with her life and their marriage. Paula thinks it is perfectly acceptable to jump into bed with any sexy man around, shop just as indiscriminately, and relies on her father to pay for her housing, car and credit card bills even though she has a good job. I can appreciate that Wendy had trouble acclimating to a new environment as well as being without a job. Moving, getting married and being fired are all stressful events. What I found difficult to accept where her rather juvenile attempts to rationalize being away from her husband for such a prolonged period of time and refusing to even consider a divorce. It is probably for these reasons that I didn't feel that the characters were very realistic and they definitely weren't mature despite their ages. I had a hard time suspending reality to accept Wendy's actions and inactions throughout the story. Wendy isn't a bad person, just one I couldn't really appreciate. A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis isn't a bad book, it just wasn't a book that worked for me.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."